The Spectacular Now

I lied last week. The weather isn’t stabilizing at all.  After a week of warmth, we’re back to a radical icy seesaw that is so much worse now that we know what warm is. After spending my Saturday morning in the middle of the mountains for a Natural History field trip, I learned how unforgiving weather can be. It was the kind of weather that can only be described using passages from an 1800’s frontiersman diary:

“Dear Diary, the weather toys with emotions and makes fools of us all with its subtle malice.  Also, consumption is unfortunate. Signed Jedidiah Jodidiah.”

But anyways.

In case you don’t know, April is the proverbial beginning of the end for the school year; we’ve got a month left, but we’re already fixing the future. That means we’re scheduling fall classes, finalizing next year’s living arrangements, thinking about summer jobs and internships and workshops, and figuring out how we’re going to get the baseball out from The Beast’s backyard. It’s a stressful time of year. It’s overwhelming and makes you almost wish you could just be one of those old west frontiersmen, writing an unsentimental diary about life on a farm.

Worrying about the future is fine, but you have to draw a line somewhere. College students are either really good at this or they are terrible at it. There is no in-between.  One end of the spectrum is the people that live their life as is, living in moments. It’s beautiful and I hate them. Not really, but kind of. I mean, I’m a little jealous that they can be so good at being a person. I, as the representative of the other half, can’t hack it. I possess a truly impressive level of anticipation anxiety. People who worry are only hypothetically good at living in real life; it just kind of falls by the wayside in practice.

College is a lot of moments and we all need to appreciate what it means to be here. Stop looking for one big picture and just focus on the thousand words in it once in a while.  If you are already living your life like this, great. Fight me (don’t fight me, I don’t drink a lot of milk and have fragile bones). The advice is mainly for those who need to hear it. Like I said, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to not worry about the future, especially when that’s all anyone wants to make you do.

This week’s startling idealism is brought to you by my field trip to the Owyhee Mountains on Saturday. I learned two key things on that field trip: one, the world actually exists at 5am. I was unsettled by that realization as I walked across campus in order to catch the bus at 4:45 am. Two, watching the sunrise over the mountains made me feel very poetic and very important. We were there to watch sage grouse do their mating ritual, something they only do in the few minutes it takes for the sun to rise (which I personally think is a little theatrical, but whatever).  The thing that got me most of all, was how little the sage grouse care. I watched them with my binoculars and all they did was their mating dance and then went to eat lunch. That’s it. They have no concept of the fact their habitat is being threatened or the fact that their numbers are so low, they’re almost ready to put on the endangered species list. All they want to do is dance and mate. They don’t worry about the future; they are just content knowing that they’ll have one.

Like I said, poetic and important.


Until next week,



Ashley is a junior Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.